So, I got an industrial sewing machine

Because if you want to figure out garment production, one way is by doing it.

Doing some research, I learned that entry-level, low-end domestic machines – used for the quick household fix – start at about $100 and can handle the many diverse small jobs, but don’t hold up to continual, serious use. There are higher-end domestics that run up to $1,000, but for the price, you can also get a used industrial, the latter of which are more durable, more reliable, and higher performing. At that price point, it was a pretty easy choice.

We found mine used online, rented a van, and picked it up.

Once it was home, it was reading through the manual and getting comfortable with the machine itself, including settings and threading. The machinery itself isn’t overwhelming in either size or complexity – it all seemed pretty straightforward.

I flipped on the machine, tried the pedal without fabric, and was happy to find the motor, which some sewers say is “too loud to have in a house,” to be more of a gentle whir.

So next was to give fabric a go. I’d never even used a domestic sewing machine, let alone an industrial.

Trying to sew the first seams straight and with consistent speed was like:


This thing can run!

Not impossible. Just takes a try or two to get your “touch” on the pedal and cloth right. And the promise of this machine’s performance is very rewarding.